Khimki Moscow Region defeated UNICS Kazan on the road, 98-73 (25-28, 28-21, 25-13, 20-11).
UNICS: Keith Langford (19), Pavel Antipov (11), Coty Clarke (10+14 reb)
Khimki: Alexey Shved (31+6 ast), Sergey Monia (17+9 reb), Marko Todorovic (16).
Khimki helped set a new League scoring record last week, combining for 227 points in a win over Avtodor. Against UNICS, Moscow Region took a similar approach, racing to 28 points in the opening period.
UNICS responded, led by Keith Langford, who was able to match a big first half from Alexey Shved. Pavel Antipov and Sergey Monia, meanwhile, traded 3-pointers, each connecting on three in the opening 20 minutes.
At halftime, Khimki enjoyed a narrow 53-49 advantage over the home team.
Khimki started the 3rd quarter on an 8-2 run, grabbing a 10-point lead. Evgeny Pashutin was forced to call a timeout, but his team failed to respond.
Beyond Langford and Quino Colom, Kazan struggled to get players involved on offense. The defense also sputtered, disoriented by Khimki’s frantic tempo and ball movement. Led by Shved, Khimki went up as much as 18 points (71-53) midway through the 3rd.
Khimki erased any lingering doubt with a 6-0 run to start the 4th quarter. With the victory, the visitors move into a tie for 3rd place with Lokomotiv-Kuban, half a game behind Zenit. UNICS remains stuck in 5th place, 11-6.
Alexey Shved. The Russian guard has been red-hot since the All-Star Game in Sochi, finishing today’s game with 31 points on 6-9 shooting from downtown to go with six assists.
-25 – UNICS suffered its biggest loss of the season. Kazan also lost by 17 to Khimki earlier in the season.
Khimki head coach Dusko Ivanovic:
– This is a very important win for us. We defeated a strong team today, while playing very good defense in the 3rd quarter, which was the reason for our win. We played smart defense against the pick-and-roll, as well as in two-on-two situations. UNICS plays great basketball when it imposes the tempo, but we demonstrated excellent defense and put full-court pressure on Colom, which was very important.
UNICS head coach Evgeny Pashutin:
– We couldn’t stop Alexey Shved and Marko Todorovic. In the 3rd quarter, we started to let our opponent build a lead. We tried to come back, but gave up too many easy baskets and lost control of the game. The outcome was decided; Khimki deserved to win.
UNICS: February 26 at CSKA
Khimki: February 24 at Lokomotiv-Kuban